Can photojournalists create authentic commercial shots? Getty thinks so

getty verbatim brent stirton
Brent Stirton / Verbatim
Photojournalism is shifting — and as editorial budgets shrink, a group comprised of Getty Images photographers is taking a new approach. This week, Getty Images subsidiary Verbatim opened its doors as a commercial photography agency staffed entirely by photojournalists.

Verbatim isn’t pretending to offer photojournalism under a commercial disguise, but is instead aiming to meet companies’ growing demand for authentic images that look less like cold catalog shots by using photographers who have a penchant for storytelling.

A portion of Verbatium’s profits will be set aside to fund the photographers’ personal editorial projects, both to help the photographers to retain their photojournalistic edge, and as a new way to fund editorial projects amid shrinking budgets.

Verbatim is led by Aidan Sullivan, the former head of the Getty Images Reportage department, and encompasses much of the department’s talent as well, including Pulitzer Prize winner Lynsey Addario as well as names like Tom Stoddart and Jonathan Torgovnik.

Getty says that its dedication to journalistic content remains unchanged — the Reportage division will continue to operate through syndication and archival distribution.

“The potential of imagery to provoke conversation and drive change is unquestionable; it is what drives me every day as a photojournalist,” Addario said. “Photography has the ability to get under people’s skin so that they think about things they usually wouldn’t think about. Through Verbatim, brands will have the opportunity to collaborate on important projects, and highlight relevant social and cultural issues.”

Sullivan, now the CEO of Verbatim, says that the new subsidiary addresses a need for advertisers to connect with the younger generation by using images with a story and a message. He added that most of the photojournalists on the team already have commercial experience under their belts from companies looking to lend that storytelling style to the brand’s images.

“Imagery has become the new language because there are no language barriers,” Sullivan told the marketing and media focused publication, Campaign. “An image is an image is an image. If it’s a verbatim, it’s exactly what you started out with.”

According to the new imaging company’s website, Verbatim uses a network of over 700 photographers and videographers in 70 different countries, who have already used their journalism experience to tell authentic stories for several brands, including Coca-Cola, Adidas, Ford, and Sears.

Product Review

Motorola's sexy Moto G7 will change the way you look at budget phones

With glass curves, a large display, and an eye-catching price tag the Moto G7 will turn plenty of heads in the budget smartphone market. We tested it out to see if Motorola has done enough to top the value charts.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (March 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

Don’t get burned! How to back crowdfunding projects the smart way

In the world of crowdfunding, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. There's a million reasons why a project might fail. But with this handy guide, you'll be able to spot the signs of a sketchy project and decrease your chances of getting…
Photography

Amid confusion, the Red Hydrogen team promises a pro in-device camera

Learning from the Red Hydrogen One, the company is gearing up for a pro-level device. In a forum post, Red's founder shares how the team is designing a Red Hydrogen with a pro-level in-device camera.
Photography

Sony FE 135mm f/1.8 is sharp enough to handle futuristic 90-megapixel cameras

Lens launches come with a lot of hype and marketing speak but a recent test confirmed some of the initial claims around the Sony FE 135 f/1.8. A rental company says that the Sony 135mm is the sharpest lens that it has ever tested.
Photography

Forget folding phones, the Insta360 EVO camera folds in half to shoot 360 video

The Insta360 EVO is a...flip camera? Unfolded, the Insta360 Evo shoots 3D in 180 degrees, folded, the new camera shoots in 360 degrees. The EVO launches with what are essentially a pair of 3D glasses for your phone, not your face, the…
Photography

Obsbot Tail camera uses A.I. to follow the action (or a pet) for you

Want to capture more epic action selfies, or see what your pet is doing while you're gone? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action.
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.
Photography

The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 mimics tilt-shift blur for less cash

Want to create a tilt-shift image on a budget? The new Lensbaby Composer II with Edge 35 mimics the look of a tilt-shift lens for under $500. The new Edge 35 optic is part of the Composer Pro II optics system.
Photography

Loupedeck Plus can now edit video, audio with Final Cut Pro

The list of Loupedeck Plus-compatible software is growing. The photo-editing console now works with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Audition for video and audio editing. The controls can be configured to be used on either platform.
Photography

Photography News: Taking a smartphone photo probably saved this guy’s life

A man was snapping a photo in Australia when the smartphone stopped an arrow shot at his face. In this week's photography news, see Canon's plans for a stabilized mirrorless, Hasselblad's newest accessories, Samyang's latest lens, and more.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!